Clubs body says se­cond Coast casino will cause ‘car­nage’

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - PAUL WE­STON

CLUBS Queens­land is call­ing it a “casino rain shadow” – an eco­nomic storm that threat­ens com­mu­nity groups within a cer­tain dis­tance of a se­cond Gold Coast casino.

It says re­search shows 330 com­mu­nity clubs will be af­fected by the pro­posed global tourism hub (GTH) along with The Star Gold Coast and Queens Wharf in Bris­bane, stretch­ing south to Cur­rumbin and west to the Scenic Rim.

Cabi­net could de­cide as early as Mon­day whether to go to mar­ket on a Coast GTH, which would see in­tense bid­ding for a casino and re­sort.

All Gold Coast MPs will be pro­vided with the re­search, which shows more than 330 clubs would be eco­nom­i­cally af­fected by a se­cond casino.

“The car­nage will be real and it will be wide­spread,” Clubs Queens­land CEO Doug Flock­hart said.

“Aus­tralian casi­nos achieve 70 per cent of their rev­enue from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, and ac­tively tar­get an area of 100km or roughly a two-hour drive dis­tance from their venues for mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Sev­eral La­bor min­is­ters be­lieve the Coast needs new tourist in­fra­struc­ture to at­tract over­seas vis­i­tors but Mr Flock­hart re­jects sug­ges­tions that Aus­tralian casi­nos were mas­sive in­ter­na­tional or even in­ter­state “tourist” cash cows.

“They earn money from the lo­cals and will be ag­gres­sively mar­ket­ing to any­one who can get in a car and drive. We have had town plan­ners ac­cu­rately map this ra­dius of 100km around each casino zone in the south­east and the area that will be cov­ered by what we call the casino rain shadow is most of south­east Queens­land.’’

Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones has wel­comed the Star En­ter­tain­ment Group an­nounc­ing a $2 bil­lion mas­ter plan de­vel­op­ment of its ex­ist­ing Broad­beach op­er­a­tion.

Govern­ment in­sid­ers sug­gest a se­cond Gold Coast casino as part of a $1 bil­lion in­te­grated re­sort could de­liver a wind­fall of $350 mil­lion in new pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a ferry ter­mi­nal, a bou­tique sta­dium, an am­phithe­atre and a much-needed up­graded con­ven­tion cen­tre.

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